With the Presidential election just about a year away that means one thing, a barrage of political ads invading every inch of our lives. After Obama used social media in his 2008 election it was only a matter of time before political ads would hit Twitter. Starting today Twitter will be displaying promoted tweets for a select few Presidential candidates and national party committees. Once Twitter is able to build up its political sales team it will open up the service to other candidates and committees. There is no word on how Twitter picked which candidates would be in the pilot group, but Mitt Romeny ads are already being shown.
Twitter will allow candidates to purchase Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends. The political ads will have two small visual changes to distinguish them from ordinary advertisements on the site. Political ads will have a lovely purple “promoted” icon instead of the normal orangeish-yellow, and when you hover your mouse over a political ad it will display a FEC-compliant discloser line such as, “Paid for by_____.”
Twitter’s political ads team will be led by Peter Greenberger who previously worked at Google. While at Google Greenberger built and ran Google’s political sales team, so it sounds like he has some experience in this field.
Ever since Obama’s election he has maintained a good relationship with Twitter, he even hosted a Town Hall meeting using the service. Unlike 2008 we will most likely see every candidate on Twitter, and they all will be using Twitter as a vital tool in their campaign.
With how popular social media has become since the last election it is expected that more ad money will be spent online than any other election so Twitter would be foolish not to allow these types of ads.